Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

The pain in her eyes

albinisim_2.jpg

The first time I saw her and her son was at the hospital next door to my office where I had gone to do some photography. It was in the radiation center, where they treat, keloids, skin cancers, metastisis to bone and brain and breast cancer. It is at this center that they have the RT-250 Orthovoltage x-ray machine, the only one of its kind in East and Central Africa.

Her son is an albino. Albinism is caused by a disorder of melanin metabolism and is characterised by white hair, milky white skin and translucent irides. The Albinism Foundation of East Africa is a charitable trust established in Kenya by people with albinism to transform the lives of persons with albinism particularly children. They provide sunscreen, UV protected glasses and medical care to those whose skin is adversely affected. AFAE also works to eliminate the social exclusion and stigma faced by people with albinism.

Then, I saw them the week after. She always holds his hand, and his face is always downcast so you cannot see his eyes. He seems about 12 perhaps he is older and he walks with a limp. He is a little short for his age and always wears a hood over his head. My assumption is he is suffering from some kind of skin condition that requires radiation therapy.

This morning just after I got off the bus, on my way to work I saw them again. Today, I looked into her eyes and there was this really deep pain. He face was blank but her eyes said it all. the pain of seeing her child suffer, of not having enough money to pay of his treatment, the pain of powerlessness.

The children in the picture are from Kitui Integrated School and have been beneficiaries of the care provided by the Albinism Foundation of East Africa.

I wanted to stop her and say something to her, but I did not. I was a coward, scared I would not be able to deal with her pain.

Next time, I promise I will stop her, and do what I can to help. I know it will make a difference no matter how small my gesture will be. I invite you to join me in supporting the Albinism Foundation of East Africa.

Downloads

Comments

Lisa's picture

compassion

Hi! Welcome to PulseWire, Murekio. You writing speaks of such deep compassion. I look forward to reading more. You mention that you are involved with photography. Would you share some of your photos with us on PulseWire? I'd love to see some of your work!

Warmly,

Lisa

Jocelynbrazil's picture

Thank you for that story. I

Thank you for that story. I can relate to the conflict we are presented with when we someone in tremendous pain. And that conflict is whether or not to bravely reach our hand out. By writing that story I believe you did reach your hand out by sharing your ideas with so many others and teaching us about this wonderful foundation. Thank you.
With love,
Jocelyn

zotterk's picture

a gesture

Hi, Murekio! I love how you commit to taking your passion and making it into action. Rather than constantly walking by this situation, you say you will do something about it. I am eager to hear how that goes! Thank you for your inspiration to all of us to make a gesture rather than just to walk on by.

All the best,
Karen

murekio's picture

Can't find her

I have been trying to find this lady and her child since I last posted this and I can't find them. The clinic they go to of course will not reveal the contact information to me. However I will keep trying.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

Mkandeh's picture

Ebola: Sierra Leoneans feel like prisoners

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

EMAGAZINE: Bridging Borders

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative